If electricity is exported to the national grid the exporter can apply to be paid for it.

Payments can be made through the Smart Export Guarantee scheme. (1) In addition to the Smart Export Guarantee scheme, energy suppliers offer to pay customers for electricity they export to the grid, based on set or variable tariffs, in some cases with conditions such as buying grid electricity from the same supplier. (2)

The Smart Export Guarantee scheme enables small-scale low carbon electricity generators to be compensated by their electricity provider for any electricity they export to the grid, under certain conditions. Smart Export Guarantee payments are compatible with Government grants for technology purchase or installation.

The technologies eligible for the Smart Export Guarantee are:

  • Photovoltaics, up to 5MW.
  • Wind Turbines, up to 5MW.
  • Hydroelectric, up to 5MW.
  • Biogas & Biomethane, up to 5MW.
  • Micro-Combined Heat and Power, up to 50kW. (3)

To benefit from the Smart Export Guarantee the electricity provider may require Microgeneration Certification Scheme or equivalent accreditation, though this is at their discretion. Certification can be required for both installation and installer for photovoltaics, wind turbines and micro-combined heat and power under 50kW, and the installation only for between 50kW and 5MW, and for hydroelectric and biogas under 5MW. (73)

For more information, refer to Ofgem (the Office for Gas and Electricity Markets)’s Guidance for Generators document or speak to the energy supplier for more information. (73)


Biomethane’s high purity, allows it to be injected into the natural gas grid, and the provider paid for it.

Biomethane can be refined from biogas produced using anaerobic digestion from organic waste (see Biogas & Biomethane).

(1) Energy Saving Trust, Financial Support for Renewable Technology, Smart Export Guarantee. Available from: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/smart-export-guarantee/ [Accessed 26th January 2021].

Solar Trade Association, Smart Export Guarantee. Available from: https://solarenergyuk.org/resource/smart-export-guarantee/ [Accessed 18th June 2021]

(3) Ofgem, Smart Export Guarantee (SEG): Guidance for Generators. London: Ofgem; 2019. Available from: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2020/02/seg_generator_guidance_-_final_for_publication.pdf [Accessed 26th January 2021].